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Bob Woodson: Honoring Nikole Hannah-Jones for ‘free speech’ is like firefighters honoring an arsonist

Civil rights veteran Bob Woodson condemned the Roosevelt Institute, a company devoted to furthering former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s imaginative and prescient, for celebrating 1619 Mission founder Nikole Hannah-Jones at no cost speech. The institute honored Hannah-Jones for “freedom of speech and expression” and Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., for “freedom of worship” in an awards ceremony Wednesday night time.

“It’s type of like an arsonist being honored on the firefighter’s conference,” Woodson, founder and president of The Woodson Middle, advised Fox Information. 


Woodson famous that when vandals final 12 months spray-painted “1619” on a toppled statue of George Washington, Claremont McKenna Faculty professor Charles Kesler wrote of the damaging riots in the summertime of 2020, “Call them the 1619 riots.” Hannah-Jones responded with a tweet saying she can be “honored” by the moniker. She later deleted the tweet.

“That looks like a wierd factor for somebody who’s being honored at no cost speech to have this occur,” Woodson famous. He additionally cited many examples of 1619 Mission supporters who shut down free speech. He famous {that a} Loudoun County, Virginia, advisory board recommended that academics who oppose fairness coaching be fired.

(AP Picture/John Minchillo)

“Individuals who advocate crucial race idea and 1619 have been on the forefront of cancel tradition,” Woodson advised Fox Information. “It’s ironic that Nicole Hannah-Jones can be honored for freedom of speech.”

Historians have faulted the 1619 Mission for twisting historical past, specifically for claiming that the American Revolution aimed to guard slavery, a declare The New York Occasions later retracted. The Occasions later stealth-edited the web site to take away the declare that 1619 represented the “true founding” of America. Citing quite a few such errors, scholars have demanded that the Pulitzer Prize board retract the award it gave to Hannah-Jones.

But Woodson warned that the 1619 Mission – and demanding race idea, the view {that a} latent racism pervades American society regardless of civil rights legal guidelines forbidding discrimination – is “most detrimental to the Black neighborhood.”

He accused Hannah-Jones of “fostering anti-American sentiment,” claiming that “she has given support and luxury to those that converse out in opposition to the founding rules of the nation.”

“As a veteran of the civil rights motion myself, what I discover most disheartening is their assist of the dumbing down of requirements,” he mentioned. He famous that many jurisdictions – most recently New York City – have moved away from “gifted and gifted” packages within the identify of equality.


“It is vitally very insulting to Black America,” Woodson mentioned. He mentioned he most well-liked “the old style bigotry” of outspoken racism over the “new progressive bigotry.” 

“The brand new progressive bigotry masquerades as combating for social justice for Blacks. It masquerades as one thing selling the pursuits of Blacks whereas on the identical time denigrating them,” he claimed. Citing the Woodson Middle’s e-book “Pink, White, and Black: Rescuing American Historical past from Revisionists and Race Hustlers,” Woodson famous that at the start of the 1900s, 5 high-performing Black excessive faculties in 5 main cities outperformed White faculties regardless of systemic boundaries like much less funding.

Bob Woodson is the founder and president of The Woodson Center.

Bob Woodson is the founder and president of The Woodson Middle.

“Nikole Hannah-Jones, Warnock, and the remainder of them ignore that historical past of excellence and achievement in opposition to the percentages and as an alternative demand that the requirements be lowered as a result of Blacks cannot compete,” he charged.

Woodson additionally faulted Warnock for selecting “to affiliate himself with this race grievance mantra.”

Regardless of the criticism the 1619 Mission has obtained from Woodson, historians and others, The Roosevelt Institute stood by its choice to honor Hannah-Jones.


“Our choice to honor Ms. Hannah-Jones speaks for itself,” RI spokesperson Ariela Weinberger advised Fox Information in a short e mail assertion.

Warnock didn’t reply to Fox Information’ request for touch upon the occasion or on the criticism of the 1619 Mission. The New York Occasions additionally declined to answer the criticism, and Hannah-Jones couldn’t be reached for remark.


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